Disability stereotypes that you will probably never meet : Bad Cripple

Most people think they know all about disability and/or chronic illness even though they don’t know anyone living with one.  There are some really goofy stereotypes that for some reason are widely accepted as truth.  One by one, I want us to discuss and squash each one.

Let’s start with Bad Cripple.  I’m sure you’ve heard all about him.  He isn’t REALLY disabled. He just puts on a big show so he can screw the government by getting Social Security, park in good parking spots, and get pity off of poor unsuspecting saps.  He also messes up the public schools by demanding special ed services for disabled (learning or otherwise) children which takes money away from AB kids.  No wonder schools can’t afford books or supplies.   Bad Cripple is killing the American dream too by reporting businesses that aren’t ADA compliant.   Who cares if it’s the law? Why should a business owner have to pay for a wheelchair ramp? Let Bad Cripple go somewhere else.  Sounds familiar, right?

No one has ever met Bad Cripple, but like any urban legend if it’s a friend of a friend then it must be true.  But think about it — why would anyone want to be Bad Cripple?  Of course there are con artists out there that swindle people out of money but is there really a good enough pay out for Bad Cripple?   Most people with disabilities live in poverty.   Applying for social security is a long and embarrassing process.  It usually takes 2 years to be awarded and during that time every doctor’s visit, hospital stay and prescribion is reviewed by social security.   In order to be awarded Bad Cripple has to convince not only his doctors but also countless social security representatives and a judge!  All this for a few hundred bucks a month.  Wouldn’t it just be simpler(and more profitable) to buddy up to a rich old person?

And as far as Bad Cripple screwing over schools and small businesses,  this isn’t someone throwing a fit, it’s the law.  Every child should receive an education.   Yes, it’s expensive but it doesn’t have to take money away from general ed programs.   Like any government agency, school will always complain about a lack of funds.  And yes, there have been lawsuits about ADA compliance.   Do you know what Bad Cripple won?  Wheelchair ramps.  Not exactly a windfall is it?



  1. Elizabeth · June 17, 2017

    I once had a guy on a bicycle circle me in a parking lot for several minutes while he tried to grill me about why I had a Service Dog and why I had a handicapped plate. I was terrified. Thank goodness the manage of the market in our little village came out and chased the guy away. I guess I didn’t “look disabled” enough to suit the rude bicyclist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jor'gha HaQ · September 10, 2017

    Sadly, I actually knew someone like this. Used to live a couple houses down from me. He would brag about how it’s “easy” to get disability if you fake mental illness. He and his wife had motorized scooters because they were too overweight to walk by no fault of anything but themselves. It was really quite sad and frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • askagimp · September 10, 2017

      You make an excellent point — there are always going to be people who milk the system. Some people make it there full time job to mooch as much as they can get. This isn’t just government benefits like social security and food stamps. There are grifters who scam charities, churches, businesses, and even their own friends, but it isn’t the norm. Those few that use or even fake an illness to exploit it for money make all of us look bad. As far as the motorized wheelchairs go, I have a problem with it too. Pushing a regular wheelchair can be hard work, but it does provide a bit of exercise. The crappy wheelchair that is usually approved by private insurance is usually terrible. I knew that an 80lb one would kill me and my dear hubby so we bought an ultralight. Medicare sells people’s address and phone number to telemarketers. When they call someone who is struggling with a crappy wheelchair and offer a scooter “at little or no cost” it sounds like a good idea. Not only is it a waste of money to hand out $10,000 scooters to people who don’t really need it, it also encourages them to just wander around in it all of the time. That is taking away the only exercise that some people get daily so they gain weight and it snowballs from there. I have no doubt that there are “bad cripples” out there ; I just wanted to say that it isn’t usually what is going on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GiGi · November 17, 2017

    This is real. It’s crazy how people think. I’m not from this country but I’ve seen people making fun of others just because they can. It’s embarrassing for them. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • askagimp · November 17, 2017

      It’s nuts how hateful people can be, but it usually speaks volumes about their own self esteem. Usually people complain about kids being cruel, but none of my son’s classmates have ever been mean to him about his autism. Now adults are a different story.


  4. Michael · November 23, 2017
  5. Michael · December 2, 2017
  6. metacrone · December 16, 2017

    This is so true. I think anyone who lives with an invisible disability gets accused on the regular of faking or exaggerating their symptoms, and condescendingly told how they should be handling their symptoms so that their disability doesn’t bother anyone else or cost society money. Like you said, everyone thinks they’re an expert. After 30 years of disability, my parents and siblings still don’t believe that mine is real and serious.


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